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In 1849, George Patterson left the Midwest for California's gold fields. He tried mining for a year but failed miserably. He decided to turn to something he know how to do well; farming. By 1877, he transformed himself into one of the wealthiest and most respected men in the area and was able to acquire 6,000 acres of prime land in the fertile plains of the East Bay.
Today his home is still a working farm. Named after a forest described in Shakespeare's As You Like It, Ardenwood is still a place where you can travel back in time. Draft horses still pull wagons, ladies wear Victorian dresses and the land still grows the kind of crops it did 100 years ago. Guests can stroll through the beautiful gardens that surround the Patterson House, a beautiful 19th century mansion restored to its original elegance and the impressive focal point of Ardenwood.
Ardenwood Historic Farm is open from 10am to 4pm Tuesdays through Sundays, year round, including Labor Day and Memorial Day. Ardenwood is closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. For picnic reservations call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2. There is no parking fee.
Note: Dogs are not permitted in the park. Sports & recreational equipment like frisbees, footballs, soccer balls, bicycles, balloons, and BBQs are prohibited.